Call Me by Your Name, originally a 2007 novel of the same name by André Aciman, is a coming-of-age romantic drama directed by Luca Guadagnino. Prior to working on this film, Guadagnino had already released two other films: I Am Love (2009) and A Bigger Splash (2015) as part of his ‘Desire Trilogy’ and Call Me by Your Name is the final instalment within the trilogy.
The film is set in 1983 somewhere in Northern Italy and the plot mainly follows the two main characters: Elio Perlman and Oliver’s summer romance. Elio Perlman, played by Timothée Chalamet and Oliver played by Armie Hammer provide the viewer with an emotional rollercoaster as their relationship progresses throughout the film.
Living in Northern Italy for the summer, Elio’s father, who is an archaeology professor, invites 24-year-old Oliver to live with them and help him with this academic work. Meanwhile, the viewer learns more about Elio—a 17-year-old bookworm who also happens to be musically gifted. The plot mainly follows their growing desire for one another and eventually their summer getaway to Bergamo before Oliver goes back to the US. Following their separation, Oliver calls Elio’s family to announce his engagement and the film ends with Elio reflecting beside the fireplace.
The film received universal acclaim and even received a ten-minute long ovation—the longest one ever given--at the New York Film Festival. Many praise the film for the positive LGBTQ+ representation since it went against the stereotype of conveying a turmoil and problematic homosexual relationship. The film follows the couple’s ever-growing desire and love for each other within a positive environment—Elio’s parents are aware of their relationship and his father even encourages him to pursue a relationship with Oliver.
However, some critics claim that due to the film being set in 1983, there should have been a more direct political inclusion in the film regarding the AIDS outbreak happening at the time. This is obviously subjective, with many critics still defending the film for its simplicity and heart-wrenching emotional love story.
Call Me By Your Name was Sony’s third-highest grossing release in 2017 with a box office revenue of $41.9 million worldwide. The film was nominated for 254 awards and won 107 of them, including an Academy Award for best adapted Screenplay and a Hollywood film award for best breakout performance by Timothée Chalamet. Overall, the film has a 7.9/10 star-rating on IMDB and a 8.7/10 rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Personally, I would recommend this movie to anyone who wants to watch a truly skilful piece of filmmaking and an emotional love story. It is a powerful movie with the potential of changing how LGBTQ+ stories are conveyed in Hollywood.
Final Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ of 5
What to Watch if you liked Call Me By Your Name
- (500) Days of Summer (2009)
- Blue is the Warmest Color (2013)
- Moonlight (2016)
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